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    New Setup - Newbie !

    Hi

    I am brand new to the forum and have been looking through for some help and ideas.

    I have just bought a new house and intend to automate using HomeSeer as the controller/interface.

    I am quite proficient with Linux so wish to build a host machine connected to a zwave interface ??

    I have a few questions ( excuse the newbie ):

    1. I wish to connect my linux server to a HomeSeer/Zwave interface - not sure which one to use and is it better to connect via Ethernet rather than serial/com
    2. How to I know which thermostat to use to control my heating system ( will any work )
    3. I want to connect remotely to HomeSeer (myhomeseer) does this mean I need a Pro license or is it free
    4. How do I integrate my telephone system into Homeseer ( what can it do )
    5. How do I use GEO location services for my car so it will turn on my house lights on my arrival ( what do I need to buy ) or does it only works from my phone.
    6. Is there a motion/sensor that can recognise an object/person so an event can be triggered i.e when someone comes into the house ( welcome Harry you have 2 messages, shall I read them to you ? )
    7. Can anyone recommend a device or suggest how to automate my blinds/curtains.


    This is my dream automation house - hope your can help much appreciated :-)

    Cheers
    Henry - London, UK.

    #2
    Welcome to the Homeseer forum Henry.

    1 -
    not sure which one to use and is it better to connect via Ethernet rather than serial/com
    Personally I think that a serial / com connection is better. That said I do serial, USB and Ethernet Z-Wave connectivity. I have two plus two (testing) in the basement of my home and one on the second floor of my home. The Z-Wave interface is a radio interface and placement of the interface for an optimal reach can be a good thing. Every piece / layer added between the hardware and software make it a bit less resilient.

    2 -
    How to I know which thermostat to use to control my heating system ( will any work )
    That depends on the methodology that your heating system is using for control. Many or most here on the other side of the big pond use forced air and heating or cooling using a mixture of gas and electric. Typically though a thermostat is just a low voltage device talking to higher voltage contactors. The wires from the thermostat to the furnace typically remain in place and a means of communications is configured to talk to the thermostat. That could be wireless or wired. (here my Leviton HAI Omnistat is wired serially to my Leviton panel).

    There a few users here today from the UK automating their heating with Homeseer and they will most likely chime in here.

    4 -
    How do I integrate my telephone system into Homeseer ( what can it do )
    The old Homeseer 2 / HSPhone plugin / hardware was utilized to remote control your home with the telephone and manage your phone messages type of stuff.

    Today I am using HSPhone on Homeseer 2 to just manage or drop incoming phone calls on the copper phone line or the voip phone line using a way 2 call device. I never did though use it for remote control of Homeseer or messages. There are many folks here on the forum doing that today though with their Homeseer phone setups.

    5 -
    How do I use GEO location services for my car
    There are folks doing this today with their cell phones such that you can use Homeseer and 3rd party plugins for this.

    6 -
    Is there a motion/sensor that can recognize an object/person
    Yes and no. The sensors today do work with a warm body and you can RF tag the person if you want to get some granularity.

    7 -
    Can anyone recommend a device or suggest how to automate my blinds/curtains.
    There are a few Homeseer users doing that today. Most of relates to using LV voltage motors with power supplied locally or remotely via hidden wires. The automation of these motors can be wired or wireless. Have a read here on the forum.

    I've touched on some of what Homeseer users do today. There is much more.

    Enjoy your visit here Henry. Folks are friendly and your questions will be answered.
    - Pete

    Auto mator
    Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Haswell CPU 16Gb
    Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e - CherryTrail x5-Z8350 BeeLink 4Gb BT3 Pro
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    X10, UPB, Zigbee, ZWave and Wifi MQTT automation-Tasmota-Espurna. OmniPro 2, Russound zoned audio, Smartthings hub, Hubitat Hub, and Home Assistant

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by hstraker View Post
      1. I wish to connect my linux server to a HomeSeer/Zwave interface - not sure which one to use and is it better to connect via Ethernet rather than serial/com
      2. How to I know which thermostat to use to control my heating system ( will any work )
      3. I want to connect remotely to HomeSeer (myhomeseer) does this mean I need a Pro license or is it free
      4. How do I integrate my telephone system into Homeseer ( what can it do )
      5. How do I use GEO location services for my car so it will turn on my house lights on my arrival ( what do I need to buy ) or does it only works from my phone.
      6. Is there a motion/sensor that can recognise an object/person so an event can be triggered i.e when someone comes into the house ( welcome Harry you have 2 messages, shall I read them to you ? )
      7. Can anyone recommend a device or suggest how to automate my blinds/curtains.
      1) Can't answer that one
      2) Be careful here, search around the board for people who have done it different ways in the UK. My system was simple in that I just connected my CH/HW system to an X10 module and used HS as a thermostat (as I had temperature data coming in from other places). There are some Z-Wave stats made by Horstmann but I am sure there have been people having problems with them. I guess there is the Nest which is now in the UK and the Nest plugin is available for HS but not seen anyone mention they have used it here, I would hope it would work the same. There is also Heatmiser and a recently released plugin available for it. I would look at your existing system and see what you had, whether it is on demand HW or do you need to be looking at both CH/HW control.
      3) Free on both AFAIK - MyHomeSeer is just an easier way to remotely connect to HomeSeer, there is no requirement for it.
      4) Couple of people have managed to get there UK phone system connected I have seen but I am not sure of it's true value now smartphones have the ability to connect to HS remotely.
      5) Various ways of doing this, active RFID, Bluetooth, Find My iPhone/FollowMee type phone applications to name just three. Each have there respective pro's and con's, the last one is the one I have always done on the basis of not requiring any additional hardware, however if you start providing status updates at such a frequency to turn your house lights on when you arrive home you might find your battery life rapidly diminish.
      6) Not really with any accuracy, you might be able to get something that distinguished between an animal and a person but not between two people. To do that you could look at a Bluetooth solution that knew which persons phone came into the house, downside being you may not always have a phone on you.
      7) Easier than it sounds, I think RFXCOM talks to Somfy devices so you could do some research around that. I never managed to sort mine out, depends on your bank balance, patience and type of blinds.

      Comment


        #4
        Just relating to Homeseer 3 and Linux here I have been mostly testing the Homeseer 3 mothership in Linux while the Homeseer 3 touch screens in Wintel / Android and may users in iOS (IPad / IPhones).

        I did play just yesterday using Homeseer 3 / Z-Wave in Linux and it worked fine. I did see two flavors of the Z-Wave plugin though; one Linux and one Wintel.

        One new feature of Homeseer 3 is the ability to run a Homeseer 3 plugin connected to hardware remotely talking to the mothership. This is not fully documented.

        Yesterday's test did prove out running the Linux Z-Wave Homeseer 3 plugin (on an RPi) talking to the Linux Homeseer 3 mothership (on an RPi or Intel/AMD based Linux box). Works fine using Linux to Linux devices.

        This does create another network (wired or wireless) mechanism of transport for use with Homeseer 3.

        I have tested Homeseer 3 now in Arm based Linux to work fine and Ubuntu Linux 32bit and 64 bit Intel / AMD based devices. It is said too that it will function in iOS just fine.

        The use of geotracking today with cellular phones has gotten very granular mostly do the the miniature marvels of computing on your phone.
        That said its a mixture of utilizing GPS, cellular radio tower triangulation, accelerometers and where your internet d mark happens to be. Years ago and relating to cell phones it was a few hundred meters while today it's more like one meter resolution. It was optional before and now its just part of the embedded applications. The evolution of the tablet has now also provided that neato geotracking stuff.
        Last edited by Pete; December 13, 2014, 12:51 PM.
        - Pete

        Auto mator
        Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Haswell CPU 16Gb
        Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e - CherryTrail x5-Z8350 BeeLink 4Gb BT3 Pro
        HS4 Lite - Ubuntu 20.04 / VB W7e Jetway JBC420U591
        Fanless Intel® Celeron N3160 SoC 8Gb
        HS4 Pro - V4.1.18.1 - Ubuntu 20.04/VB W7e 64 bit Intel Kaby Lake CPU - 32Gb
        HSTouch on Intel tabletop tablets

        X10, UPB, Zigbee, ZWave and Wifi MQTT automation-Tasmota-Espurna. OmniPro 2, Russound zoned audio, Smartthings hub, Hubitat Hub, and Home Assistant

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by hstraker View Post
          1. I wish to connect my linux server to a HomeSeer/Zwave interface - not sure which one to use and is it better to connect via Ethernet rather than serial/com
          2. How to I know which thermostat to use to control my heating system ( will any work )
          3. I want to connect remotely to HomeSeer (myhomeseer) does this mean I need a Pro license or is it free
          4. How do I integrate my telephone system into Homeseer ( what can it do )
          5. How do I use GEO location services for my car so it will turn on my house lights on my arrival ( what do I need to buy ) or does it only works from my phone.
          6. Is there a motion/sensor that can recognise an object/person so an event can be triggered i.e when someone comes into the house ( welcome Harry you have 2 messages, shall I read them to you ? )
          7. Can anyone recommend a device or suggest how to automate my blinds/curtains.

          I would say cost is a big factor in a HA system but here's a few of my thoughts as a fellow UK automator.

          1. If I were starting out now, I would probably wait for some more European Z-Wave+ devices to appear before delving in. I suppose Ethernet is often more convenient from a connection point of view but there are a good few people using USB devices over Ethernet USB servers. I would think it will take some time (if it ever happens) for an Ethernet European Z-Wave+ interface to appear. Z-Wave on the whole has been very reliable for me.

          2. IMO heating control is a real minefield of options. Our house (built in 1870) is difficult to get a consistent temperature using a single or even 2 thermostats so I went with the Honeywell Hometrionic system a few years ago to get room by room control. It works a treat and whilst the system is stand alone I do have some degree of integration with Homeseer using a couple of Hometronic IO modules which allows me to activate pre-set temperatures.

          I saw recently that someone on the board here has been playing with integrating Honeywell's Evohome system with Homeseer. If this happens in the form of a HS3 plug-in then I may well replace my Hometronic controller with the Evohome unit as the rad valves I have will work with it.

          3. As others have said. MyHomeseer is not required but probably makes life easier for those without a fixed IP address.

          4. Depends on what you want to do with it. I have a Way2Call unit here that I once played with in HS2 but found that I didn't use it other than logging caller info etc. It's now sitting in my HA graveyard.

          5. Like others, I've played with lots of geo location stuff over the years. For a car I suppose it's somewhat easier because whilst the car is running (ignition on) you could do very frequent updates allowing much faster (home / away) detection. There are a number of car tracking devices that can be configured to communicate with your own server. This is one such unit I played about with earlier in the year for a customer http://www.gps-telematics.co.uk/vehi...ucts-at200.htm

          We don't use this type of technology for home/away detection here and rely on phone tracking at 10 minute intervals for automation purposes which doesn't appear to affect battery life too much.

          6. We each have a key fob to disarm the security system here so the person that disarms the alarm is greeted by name and given any system notifications (via speech) once they have triggered 2 given security sensors (a check that they are actually in the house).

          7. We don't have any automated blinds / curtains here (primarily because of IMO the ridiculous cost) but a friend of mine has more than 30 Somfy devices (big house) controlling roller and roman type blinds and they have proved very reliable. Like mrhappy says, I think these devices can actually be controlled with the RFXCOM devices now.

          Paul..

          Comment


            #6
            Welcome to the world of home automation you picked a great and very customizable platform. We have a very active community too and everyone is extremely supportive. There are plugins included with homeseer and 3rd party plugins to do everything you're looking for. Search on the board and get prepared to lose the next six months

            Comment


              #7
              Henry, you already have some excellent suggestions, and others are far more capable to comment on what may work in the UK, but a couple of thoughts:
              Originally posted by hstraker View Post
              How do I use GEO location services for my car so it will turn on my house lights on my arrival ( what do I need to buy ) or does it only works from my phone.
              Many people are using an active RFID system to detect the arrival/departure of a vehicle.
              Is there a motion/sensor that can recognise an object/person so an event can be triggered i.e when someone comes into the house ( welcome Harry you have 2 messages, shall I read them to you ? )
              I use disarm codes for our alarm system to determine who has entered. Of course, that only works for the first person to return.You could also consider a BT connection with a smartphone.
              Mike____________________________________________________________ __________________
              HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.548, NUC i3

              HW: Stargate | NX8e | CAV6.6 | Squeezebox | PCS | WGL 800RF | RFXCOM | Vantage Pro | Green-Eye | Edgeport/8 | Way2Call | Ecobee3 | EtherRain | Ubiquiti

              Comment


                #8
                Newbie Setup - What z-wave enabled interface to connect to Linux host

                Thanks to everyone who commented on my newbie post - a lot to take on board, I am still not sure what interface to buy to connect to my host Linux machine.

                Considering my house has three floors I may need more than one ?

                Any suggestions ?

                Thanks again.
                Henry

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by hstraker View Post
                  Thanks to everyone who commented on my newbie post - a lot to take on board, I am still not sure what interface to buy to connect to my host Linux machine.

                  Considering my house has three floors I may need more than one ?

                  Any suggestions ?

                  Thanks again.
                  Henry
                  In theory (because its a mesh network) you should only need 1 interface for Z-Wave but I know others here are using multiple interfaces in large properties.

                  Our house is not particularly large (approx 10m x 12m externally) but it is old and all internal walls are solid brick. I only use 1 Z-Wave interface which is located in one corner of the ground floor and I don't have any issues with Z-Wave communications even to the furthest away nodes which are up to 50 metres from the interface.

                  As I have mentioned before my entire Z-Wave network is based on ZDK 4.5x devices which I am led to believe is better at routing than the older version 5.x.

                  Confusing I know but version 4 came after 5 in the Z-Wave world. As I said in my previous post, if I were starting out today I would go for Z-Wave + (version 6.x) This is a Z-Wave+ controller interface that should work on Linux http://www.vesternet.com/z-wave-me-usb-stick

                  Paul..

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Welcome - Henry.

                    Hi Henry,
                    Welcome to the board,
                    I'll go for box number 2.
                    OK firstly don't take what I say as gospel but my advice is read as much as possible about your chosen subject, there always seems to be someone on the board who is either more clever or who has done it already. I currently don't think there are any fully working Z-Wave thermostats available on our side of the pond yet. A lot me included have looked at danfoss but pretty sure it still not a goer. Currently I am with Mr Happy I use X10 an AD10 for HW and AD10 for CH, DigiMax 210 wireless thermostat (up to 4 can be used) and Bert's RFXCom plugin. Ultra reliable, easy to set up on a conventional heating system, oh forgot to say it is cheep! I also have an SC9000 X10 alarm and that alters the central heating depending on the state of the house, also Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn dependent all done with events.
                    The one other thing is if HS expires I can just revert to the Noah's ark box on the wall below the boiler.

                    Have fun and once again welcome.

                    Peter

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Relating to Homeseer you can if you want have a mix of protocols.

                      One of the benefits of Homeseer today is that you can talk to many different types of devices.

                      My base Homeseer 2 box has 16 serial connections and 7 USB connections plus whatever is on the network today.

                      IE: My currently running Homeseer 2 utilizes X10, Insteon, UPB and Z-Wave and my combination automation security panel talks X10, UPB and Z-Wave (and Zigbee). All the security sensors are wired.

                      Testing some new Zigbee wireless with battery stuff which is similiar to the some of the new Z-Wave stuff.

                      Test the technology in your home and see what works the best for you in your home.
                      - Pete

                      Auto mator
                      Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Haswell CPU 16Gb
                      Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e - CherryTrail x5-Z8350 BeeLink 4Gb BT3 Pro
                      HS4 Lite - Ubuntu 20.04 / VB W7e Jetway JBC420U591
                      Fanless Intel® Celeron N3160 SoC 8Gb
                      HS4 Pro - V4.1.18.1 - Ubuntu 20.04/VB W7e 64 bit Intel Kaby Lake CPU - 32Gb
                      HSTouch on Intel tabletop tablets

                      X10, UPB, Zigbee, ZWave and Wifi MQTT automation-Tasmota-Espurna. OmniPro 2, Russound zoned audio, Smartthings hub, Hubitat Hub, and Home Assistant

                      Comment

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